The Standards For Effective Pedagogy: The TOOL


Standard &



Teacher Indicators

Standard 1:

Joint Productive Activity 



Teachers and students producing together

Facilitate learning through joint productive activity among teachers and students

Teacher Indicators for JPA: 

  • Designs instructional activities requiring student collaboration to accomplish a joint product
  • Matches the demands of the joint productive activity to the time available for accomplishing them
  • Arranges classroom seating to accomodate students' individual and group needs to communicate and work jointly
  • Participates with students in joint productive activity
  • Organizes students in a variety of groupings, such as by friendships, mixed academic ability, language, project, or interest, to promote interaction
  • Plans with students how to work in groups and move from one activity to another, such as from large group introduction to small group activity, for clean-up, dismissal, and the like
  • manages student and teacher access to materials and technology to facilitate joint productive activity
  • Monitors and supports student collaboration in positive ways  

Standard 2:

Language and Literacy Development 



Developing Language and Literacy Across the Curriculum

Develop competence in the language and literacy of instruction throughout all instructional activities

Teacher Indicators for LLD: 

  • Listens to student talk about familiar topics such as home and community
  • Responds to students' talk and questions, making "in-flight" changes during conversations that directly relate to students' comments.
  • Assists writeen and oral language development through modeling, eliciting, probing, restating, clarifying, questioning, praising, etc., in purposeful conversations and writing. 
  • Interacts with students in ways that respect students' preferences for speaking that may be different from the teacher's, such as wait-time, eye contact, turn-taking, and spotlighting
  • Connects student language with literacy and content area knowledge through speaking, listening, reading, and writing activities
  • Encourages students to use content vocabulary to express their understanding
  • Provides frequent opportunity for students to interact with each other and the teacher during instructional activities
  • Encourages students' use of first and second languages in instructional activities

Standard  3:



Identifier: Meaning Making: Connecting School to Student's Lives

Contextualize teaching and curriculum in the experiences and skills of home and community

Teacher Indicators of Contextualization: 

  • Begins activities with what students already know from home, community, and school
  • Designs instructional activities that are meaningful to students in terms of local community norms and knowledge
  • Acquires knowledge of local norms and knowledge by talking to students, parents or family members, community members, and by reading pertinent documents
  • Assists students to connect and apply their learning to home and community
  • Plans jointly with students to design community-based learning activites
  • Provides opportunities for parents or families to participate in classroom instructional activities
  • Varies activities to include students' preferences, from collective and cooperative to individual and competitive
  • Varies styles of conversation and participation to include students' cultural preferences, such as co-narration, call-and-response, and choral, among others. 

Standard  4:

Challenging Activities 



Teaching Complex Thinking

Challenge students toward cognitive complexity

Teacher Indicators for Challenging Activities:

  • Assures that students-- for each instructional topic-- see the whole picture as a basis for understanding the parts
  • Presents challenging standards for student performance
  • Designs instructional tasks that advance student understanding to more complex levels
  • Assists students to accomplish more complex understanding by building from their previous success
  • Gives clear, direct feedback about how student performance compares with the challenging standards 

Standard  5:

Instructional Conversations


Teaching through Conversation

Engage students through dialogue, especially the instructional conversation

Teacher Indicators of Instructional Conversations:

  • Arranges the classroom to accommodate conversation between the teacher and a small group of students on a regular and frequent basis
  • Has a clear academic goal that guides conversation with students
  • Ensures that student talk occurs at higher rates than teacher talk
  • Guides conversation to include students' views, judgments, and rationales using text evidence and other substantive support
  • Ensures that all students are included in the conversation according to their preferences 
  • Listens carefully to assess levels of students' understanding
  • Assists students' learning throughout the conversation by questioning, restating, praising, encouraging, etc. 
  • Guides the students to prepare a product that indicates the Instructional Conversation's goals was achieved

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